The Washington D.C driver’s license gets a makeover

Washington D.C. is rolling out new driver’s licenses with enhanced security features. The first licenses with the new design were issued in November 2013, and replace the old red, white and blue design with a more muted palette and a fine-grain background image of blooming cherry trees.

In addition to the license’s new look, the card will boast new security features, including:

  • Laser-engraved photographs – makes removing or altering the photograph much more difficult, since information is actually burned into the card, and provides tactile proof of validity to someone checking the ID
  • A “ghosted” D.C. seal – easy to create, but difficult to reproduce with a color printer
  • Standardized and interstate guideline compliant photo and data placement
  • Machine-readable 1D and 2D barcodes – can hold some text-based data and a compressed image file

Additionally, obtaining a new license will involve a two-step process: 1) visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for the license, and 2) waiting approximately two weeks for the identification to arrive via the U.S. mail. In the meantime, the applicant will receive a 45-day temporary license.

D.C. License Front DL_Back (1)